“The reduction in crashes and lower truck-related fatalities show that the current rules are effective, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance supports their effectiveness as well. I have driven commercially for more than 20 years. The current rules promote more time to maintain my health and to get needed rest.
“If you really want to promote safety, it’s time to work on revocation of the current FLSA [Fair Labor Standards Act, which exempts drivers from overtime pay] exemption on the transportation industry. Doing so would give shippers, receivers and carriers the incentive to make the other needed changes for an even safer work environment.”
Sleep apnea a bigger problem
“I think a much larger problem is sleep apnea. I was diagnosed with it three years ago, got treatment and now I sleep well every night. One large fleet estimates that 30 percent of its drivers have the condition. It that’s true, then 30 percent of those drivers will still be fatigued, no matter what hours of service regulations get implemented… Change the direction of the proposed rule to allow and encourage drivers with a sleep problem to get help.”
Consider other safety measures
“We have operated under the same rule since it was changed in 2004. The amazing thing is that the safety numbers are better than they have ever been. If safety is important to federal regulators, they should assess automobile motorists, many of whom don’t know basic rules of the road; require that new drivers go through more training; and assess time wasted at shippers and receivers.”
RANDALL LEE HART
Cedar Spring, Mich.
Economic balance would suffer
“Changing the hours of service regulations would be a very bad idea for these reasons: A reduction in driving time and working hours would result in more inexperienced drivers on the road, and as a result highway safety would suffer. The proposed changes would be hard on the economy. Since the industry would have less capacity to haul freight, rates would rise. My family needs more income, not less.
“Critical parts of the nation’s distribution network would be disrupted because current routes and distribution centers are placed for the current hours of service rules. Fewer driving and working hours amounts to a pay cut at a time when drivers’ families are struggling to make ends meet.”